screen-shot-2017-03-07-at-3-36-40-pm-300x168-3092691Clashing abortion policies could block or restrict New Yorkers from claiming health insurance tax credits under the House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plan.

The American Health Care Act, unveiled on Monday, specifies that its proposed tax credits could not be used to buy insurance that covers abortions.

However, New York regulations, as recently adjusted by the Cuomo administration, say that most policies sold in New York must cover abortions. In fact, state-regulated health plans are obliged to pay for the procedure without applying a copayment, coinsurance, or deductible.

The GOP bill would replace the income-based tax credits available under the Affordable Care Act with age-based tax credits, ranging from $2,000 a year for people under 30 to $4,000 for people over 60. Eligibility for the credits would phase out for individuals with incomes above $75,000.

The legislation says credits may be used to buy only insurance that “does not include coverage for abortions,” with exceptions for abortions after rape or incest or that are necessary to save the life of the mother.

The bill would allow people to buy separate coverage for abortions “so long as no credit is allowed under this section with respect to the premiums for such coverage or plan.”

The New York regulations have exceptions, too. They don’t apply to large, self-insured employers, or to plans offered by religious employers. However, people using the tax credits would be buying insurance as individuals, not through an employer.

The state has also carved out exceptions for Fidelis Care, a Catholic-sponsored health plan that does not cover abortions. Fidelis Care is a major participant in Medicaid managed care and the biggest-selling private insurer available on the New York State of Health, the state’s Obamacare exchange.

The plan’s website says it does not cover abortion, sterilization, or artificial contraception, but adds: “As a member of Fidelis Care, you can secure such services through free access to the Medicaid program or through State Department of Health-contracted entities.”

If AHCA passes as written, it would put pressure on the state Department of Financial Services to weaken the abortion mandate – or render the tax credits difficult, if not impossible, for New Yorkers to claim.

 

About the Author

Bill Hammond

As the Empire Center’s senior fellow for health policy, Bill Hammond tracks fast-moving developments in New York’s massive health care industry, with a focus on how decisions made in Albany and Washington affect the well-being of patients, providers, taxpayers and the state’s economy.

Read more by Bill Hammond

You may also like

The ARP Opportunity

Some New York local governments  are soliciting input from residents as they decide how to spend  billions in pandemic emergency dollars Read More

Sales Tax Receipts Surge Statewide, Filling Local Government Coffers

Local governments across every region of the state raked in robust sales tax collections during the three months that ended on June 30th Read More

The Health Department’s FOIL Responses Signal an Indefinite Wait for Pandemic Data

The quest for comprehensive data on New York's coronavirus pandemic hit a bureaucratic roadblock this week Read More

140 State Employees Paid $100,000 or More … in Overtime

State agencies paid out a total of $851.4 million in overtime pay in 2020, an $18.7 million increase from 2019. Read More

A Study of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes Raises Doubt About New York’s Minimum Staffing Law

A newly published study of COVID-19 in nursing homes links larger numbers of employees to higher rates of infection and death for residents – raising fresh doubts about New York's recently enacted "safe staffing" law. Read More

Health Research Inc. Turns Over its Payroll Records Despite Claiming To Be Exempt from FOIL

The full payroll records of more than 2,400 de facto state employees are available to the public for the first time after being released by Health Research Inc. Read More

Emergency Billions Pose Opportunity—and Risk—for NYS Schools

New York schools are to post publicly today plans for spending a huge pile of unexpected and unbudgeted cash. Read More

Report Reveals Albany’s Balanced Budget a Gimmick

Extending the budget window reveals large, yawning budget gaps growing from nearly $8 billion in 2026 to nearly $20 billion by the end of the decade. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!